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Europe

France: After election win, what course will Francois Hollande take?

Francois Hollande.

By Murray Smith

June 24, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Following on the victory of Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande in the May 6 French presidential election, legislative elections were held in two rounds on June 10 and 17. The results confirmed those of the presidential election, but with some particular features.

Greece: Young revolutionary members of SYRIZA interviewed

Photo by Eric Ribellarsi.

June 18, 2012 -- Winter Has Its End/Kasama Project, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal at the request of the author. It has been slightly abridged -- Eric Ribellarsi met with 10 young members of the Communist Organization of Greece (KOE), which is part of the Coalition of the Radical Left, SYRIZA. [The KOE comes out of the Maoist tradition and is the second-largest component of SYRIZA.] They discussed their backgrounds, experiences, the student movement, the orthodox Communist Party in Greece (KKE), revolutionary strategy and the political choices of revolutionary communists within the Greek crisis. Eric Ribellarsi is part of a reporting team in Greece.

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Can you tell me how some of you became communists? How did you come to join KOE?

Greece: SYRIZA pipped at the post; photos, videos of SYRIZA's final election rally, Athens

June 18, 2012 -- Green Left TV/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Afrodity Giannakis, Green Left Weekly correspondent in Greece and an activist in SYRIZA, gives her first impressions of the result of the June 17 general election where the conservative New Democracy beat the left coalition SYRIZA into first place by just 3% of the vote. Younger voters voted strongly for the left while older voters tended to vote conservative.

Graphic from http://www.skai.gr/ekloges2012.

For more discussion and analysis on the political crisis in Greece, click HERE.

June 18, 2012 -- Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Coalition of the Radical Left, SYRIZA, just failed in it's second attempt to become the largest party in Greece's parliament, winning 26.9% of the vote in the June 17 general election, up from 17%. The right-wing New Democracy party came in first with almost 29.7%. SYRIZA was up against enormous odds, with the weight of Europe's ruling classes unleashing an all-out propaganda offensive against it.

Greece: The making of SYRIZA

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras speaks at a rally in Athens' Omonia Square in early May. Photo: Kathemerini.

For more discussion and analysis on the political crisis in Greece, click HERE.

By Panos Petrou

June 11, 2012 -- Socialist Worker (USA) -- Greece's Coalition of the Radical Left, SYRIZA, has a chance of winning parliamentary elections in Greece on June 17, which would give it an opportunity to form a government of the left that would reject the drastic austerity measures imposed on Greece as a condition of the European Union's bailout of the country's financial elite.

French politics after the fall of Sarkozy

A young supporter of the Front de Gauche (Left Front).

By Murray Smith

June 7, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- After long months of campaigning, the French presidential election came to a close on the evening of May 6. As predicted, the victor, and therefore seventh president of the Fifth Republic, was Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande. However, the margin of victory, at 51.6 per cent to 48.4 per cent, was narrow, and closer than any of the polls had foreseen.

So France now has a new president and a new government, presided over by long-time Hollande ally and Socialist Party stalwart Jean-Marc Ayrault and composed of members of the Socialist Party and its Green and left radical allies. Of course, this government has necessarily an interim character, since it does not have a majority in parliament. Whether it wins one or not will be decided in parliamentary elections to be held in two rounds on June 10 and 17.

Election campaign

Richard Seymour: The challenge of SYRIZA

For more discussion and analysis on the political crisis in Greece, click HERE.

By Richard Seymour

"...this isn't just another election. The choice is between a New Democracy-led austerity government, which would be immensely demoralising, and a SYRIZA-led anti-austerity government, which would give the whole continental left a massive shot in the arm and open up a host of new possibilities. This is a key moment in which a great deal is condensed, which will be formative of a great deal of the political and ideological terrain for some time, and any formation that appears to bring the latter possibility closer isn't helping the industrial struggle."

Tariq Ali: The rotten heart of Europe (video)

May 15, 2012 -- Tariq Ali's keynote lecture on the state of Europe presented at the annual Subversive Forum, the theme of which this year was "The future of Europe", held in Zagreb, Croatia, May 13-19, 2012. He explains the evolution of the European Union and its role, and touches on the crisis in Greece.

Denmark: Red-Green Alliance congress grapples with increased influence

By Jody Betzien, Copenhagen

May 27, 2012 -- Green  Left Weekly -- Red carpet and champagne marked the start of the first Red-Green Alliance (RGA) congress since the party tripled its mandate at a poll in September last year.

The 385 delegates representing the 8000 members packed a basketball stadium in the migrant and working-class Copenhagen suburb of Norrebro to grapple with the party's new increased influence on Danish politics.

Party membership has more than doubled in the past two years, with the party welcoming into its ranks many ex-members of the Social Democratic and Socialist People's parties.

Danes voted in droves in last year's elections to punish the right-wing parties. The poll resulted in the Social Democrats heading a coalition government — and Denmark's first woman prime minister. But this took place on the back of the lowest vote for the Social Democrats since 1906.

There was also a collapse in support for the country's most right-wing parties, including the overtly racist Danish People's Party (DPP). The vote for left parties rose.

The Social Liberals are the most conservative of the four left-of-centre parties supporting the government and the RGA the most radical.

Greece: SYRIZA's 40-point program

 

See also SYRIZA's 2014 governmental program: "Greece: What a SYRIZA government will do"

For more discussion and analysis on the political crisis in Greece, click HERE.

May 27, 2012 -- The following is translated from the daily bulletin of Italy’s Communist Refoundation Party, which has published the official program of the Greek coalition of the radical  left, SYRIZA. The text was first translated by and posted at The Greanville Post. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal in the interests of informing the discussion on the left response to the Greek crisis.

* * *

1. Audit of the public debt and renegotiation of interest due and suspension of payments until the economy has revived and growth and employment return.

2. Demand the European Union to change the role of the European Central Bank so that it finances states and programs of public investment.

3. Raise income tax to 75% for all incomes over 500,000 euros.

4. Change the election laws to a proportional system.

5. Increase taxes on big companies to that of the European average.

6. Adoption of a tax on financial transactions and a special tax on luxury goods.

Greece: 'For an anti-austerity government of the left'

By Socialist Resistance (Britain)

This statement was agreed to at a meeting of the Socialist Resistance National Committee on May 26, 2012. Socialist Resistance is affiliated to the Fourth International. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal to promote left discussion. For more discussion and analysis on the political crisis in Greece, click HERE.]

May 28, 2012 -- Socialist Resistance -- Syriza’s stunning vote in the recent elections has shaken the Greek and European ruling classes to their foundations. It was a total rejection of the austerity package, on a progressive basis, by 60% of the electorate and has created not only the biggest crisis, but the most significant class confrontation in Europe since the Portuguese revolution of 1974.

Sri Lanka: Crimes against humanity with the West’s complicity

By Ron Ridenour

May 25, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The US-UK axis is quite adroit at launching aggressive wars against governments and peoples who do not buckle under. Today’s method of domination is often linked with media propaganda about doing the right thing for “human rights”.

In the case of its ally Sri Lanka, it did not need to send troops to win the war against the Tamils’ struggle for liberation. The Western powers have provided Sri Lankan governments and military with weaponry, war intelligence and training to win the long war against Tamil nationhood. But, after the mutual victory, the axis has also criticised the current government for having committed excesses.

While China and Russia also militarily and economically assisted Sri Lankan governments in avoiding federalism for the two peoples: majority Sinhalese and minority Tamils, they did so without the hyperbole of “protecting human rights”. Unfortunately, Cuba and its associates in the eight Latin American ALBA countries (Bolivarian Alliance of the peoples of the Americas) got caught up in the geopolitical game by supporting Sinhalese chauvinism politically but without funds and weapons.

Germany: Die Linke's program in English (adopted October 2011)

May 23, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Below is the full text of Germany's radical left Die Linke party's program in English. It can also be downloaded HERE. At the time of publication, this document was unavailable anywhere else on the web.Germany: Die Linke's program in English

Luxembourg: Die Lenk (The Left) party congress builds social resistance agenda

An election stall for Dei Lenk, 2011. Photo from Dei Lenk's Facebook group.

By Dick Nichols

May 13, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly -- Compared with a southern Europe stricken by ever-rising unemployment and government attacks on social welfare and democratic rights, Luxembourg can feel as if it is on another, much more pleasant, planet.

The richest country in Europe ― with gross domestic product per capita at least 30% higher than that of the US, unemployment at 5.9% and the second-lowest public sector debt to GDP ratio ― this most important financial centre after London’s City would seem to be floating above the crisis.

However, the resolutions adopted at the April 22 ninth ordinary congress of Luxembourg’s Dei Lenk (The Left) revealed another picture ― of the country’s advanced social model coming under rising attack, and of this offensive meeting rising resistance from the union movement and the left.

Radio report: This week in Europe with Dick Nichols -- Greek and French elections

May 12, 2012 -- 3CR Solidarity Breakfast program -- Dick Nichols, Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal's European correspondent, discusses the week's (ending May 12, 2012) developments in Europe on Melbourne community radio 3CR. He discusses the election success of SYRIZA in Greece, the presidential election in France, developments in Spain, and what these mean for the rest of Europe.

Solidarity Breakfast

Greece: A meeting with SYRIZA's Alexis Tsipras: 'It's a European crisis, a capitalist crisis, not a Greek crisis ...'

May 14, 2012 -- Coalition of Resistance -- Britain's Greece Solidarity Campaign's recent delegation to Athens met with Alexis Tsipras, leader of SYRIZA, the Coalition of the Radical Left and president of Synaspismos. The delegation meeting him included national representatives from several trade unions UNITE, the Communication Workers Union, the Fire Brigades Union and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association.

Tsipras described as "catastrophic" the impact of austerity on Greek society, describing public hospitals on the brink of collapse with a shortage of medical supplies, and there were no new books at the start of the school year, so parents were forced to photocopy old ones. He said "it’s only a matter of time before the next social explosion".

Tsipras told the delegation that if austerity is the "prescription" to cure the economic crisis, it is "the medicine of disaster" and that the policies being imposed by the International Monetary Fund/European Union and World Bank are destroying social cohesion, destroying the political system and destroying the economy.

Greece: SYRIZA, the Communist Party and the desperate need for a united front

A united front of the left and sustained mass mobilisation are desperately needed in Greece.

By Michael Karadjis

May 16, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- This article does not aim to give a full account of the current Greek political crisis. Rather, the crisis will be discussed with a focus on the failure of the Greek left to form a united front in the hour of need of the masses, with a historical look at the nature of the Greek left and the parties involved in it.

The sensational outcome of the May 6, 2012, Greek elections, in which SYRIZA, a coalition of left-reformist and radical left organisations, gained nearly 17% of the vote, second only to the right-wing New Democracy (ND) party, comes on the back of the catastrophe being imposed on the Greek working class as it is forced to pay for the crisis of Greek and European capital.

Grecia: las perspectivas de un gobierno de SYRIZA

Alexis Tsipras.

Para más análisis de la política en Grecia, AQUÍ.

[English at http://links.org.au/node/2861.]

Por Christos Kefalis

13/5/2012 -- Sinpermiso -- Las elecciones legislativas del 6 de mayo han producido un resultado sensacional, abriendo un nuevo capítulo en la historia política de Grecia. Asimismo, repercutirán significativamente en la situación política europea.

 El resultado muestra una clara polarización entre derecha e izquierda y una ruptura de las fuerzas políticas dominantes hasta el momento, el Movimiento Socialista Panhelénico (PASOK) y Nueva Democracia, el llamado "sistema bipartidista", que ha dominado la vida política griega desde 1974.

(Updated May 13) Greece: What prospects for a SYRIZA-led left government?

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras.

For more analysis of politics in Greece, click HERE.

STOP PRESS, May 13, 2012 -- In the wake of the failure of the three first-placed parties to secure a parliamentary majority, it is almost certain that a new election will be held. New opinion polls released May 12 show that support for Greece's austerity parties continues to drop, while the radical left SYRIZA has increased its vote since the May 6 elections, and is now Greece's most popular party. According to a poll by Kapa Research, SYRIZA Coalition of Radical Left would receive 20.5% of votes, 3.7% higher than May 6. Support for New Democracy fell to 18.1% from 18.85% in the elections, while PASOK would receive 12.2%, down from 13.2%. Support for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party fell to 5.8% from 7%, above the 3% threshold needed to enter parliament. The right-wing Independent Greeks was on 8.4%, while support for the Democratic Left party is on 5% and the KKE 6.5%. Another opinion poll published May 12 showed SYRIZA on 25.5% if elections were held now.

* * *

By Christos Kefalis, Athens

Το αποτέλεσμα των ελληνικών εκλογών και οι πολιτικές προοπτικές στην Ελλάδα

[English at Greece: What prospects for a SYRIZA-led left government?]

του Χρήστου Κεφαλή*

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Οι ελληνικές εκλογές της 6ης Μάη παρήγαγαν ένα συγκλονιστικό, εντυπωσιακό αποτέλεσμα που σίγουρα ανοίγει ένα νέο κεφάλαιο στην πολιτική ιστορία της Ελλάδας και θα έχει σημαντικές επίσης επιπτώσεις στην ευρωπαϊκή κατάσταση. Το αποτέλεσμα δείχνει μια σαφή πόλωση μεταξύ αριστεράς και δεξιάς και τη διάλυση των μέχρι σήμερα κυρίαρχων πολιτικών δυνάμεων του δικομματισμού.

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